|Saving vs Investing (Photo credit: ota_photos)|
Jerusalem was under attack and armies marched unto Jerusalem ready to take
it as their own and although vast armies marched upon Jerusalem, the Lord
God protected His people
He caused the enemies to come against themselves and they were destroyed
And we come to Psalms 47,48 and 49 now
But firstly we look to Psalm 48 as we see Jerusalem under attack
And we note that the armies Of Gods people marched towards the enemy,
they did not run away, but they marched towards the enemy and they came up
against the enemy with spear and weapon but they did not have to use these
Instead they put men of the levite tribes in front praising God, marching
towards the enemy ( note ) marching towards the enemy praising God
Is'nt it strange how the concepts of the Christian Kingdom are so opposite
to our normal way of thinking ?
Would you go towards a vast army of men wielding swords and javelin singing
praises to God ? would you put a tribe of people in front of your armies
to praise God as you go to what might be death ?
Well the last thing at times you might want to do when faced with danger
is to start singing ? is that correct ?
So many times I have faced difficult times and I have moaned and groaned
and complained and grumbled but you know inside that song goes on
Sometimes my flesh is weak but the song that God has put in my heart goes on
At times the last thing we might want to do in times of trouble is to start
praising God, this kind of goes against our natural way of thinking does'nt it ?
At times when everything seems to go against us its only natural to want
to grumble and complain and as the world might say to us
" Let it all out ...its good for you "
Now we are not saying that we should surpress what is in us, we are not saying
we should keep our lips sealed and surpress our feelings
But what we are looking at here is the opposite of what we might feel like
Sometimes its easy to pray when all is well with our souls but we might find
it harder to praise and pray to God when things are not going quite to
We noted in our last message that David was exiled far from Jerusalem and that
his own son had sought to take the throne and that at this time when David was
exiled from His own kingdom that it just happened to be the time of Festival
when the people of God were to remember Gods goodness to them
Leviticus chapter 23.
And so at the time when David was alone and rejected and despised and a man
of sorrows this was the time to remember Gods goodness
At the very time when we are confronted with the enemy in fact we use the
weapon of great power, this is the weapon of praise
The enemy will run a mile at the sound of praise
Many a spiritualist , medium fortune teller or persons involved in the
occult will not be able to stand the sound of praises to God for very long
The enemy hates praise and he hates the sound of people praising God
He will run until the dust is seen no more
But we follow in the dust of our Rabbi who is Jesus and we have the
song of salvation upon our lips and in our hearts this new song that is
implanted within us
When we are confronted with danger and the enemy we about turn and march towrds
the fear and foe and we praise God
Have you ever wondered how silly this may seem to those who are invading?
"hahhaa look at them...what kind of army is that ? they have people singing,"
But although people may mock and scorn and jeer and persecute and laugh this
is no more than they did to Jesus
The Church praises God and is a house of God that is there to glorify God
The Church glorifies God, that is its purpose...to glorify God
It directs people to God, the Church should point to God,the Church should
Here we have an army of Gods people glorifying God and singing praises to God,
an army ready for war and what are they doing ?
Singing praises to God ...of course
What greater weapon in warfare ? to praise God and to have a Church that
sings and marches into battle
And there is a time to listen to Gods word , to listen to God speak, to hear
God speak , to meditate on his word , to read and listen to His word
To be transformed and renewed into the people and army that God wants us to be
An army of people who make the enemy run for his death
This vast army of univeral believers around the world praising God and marching
on ....gifted and armed at the ready to fight the good fight
O death where is thy sting ? death is swallowd up in victory,
Who is this that rose like the dawn ? as strong as an army ? as an army with
banners ? it is the Church in the eyes of the Lord , the Bride of Christ
awaiting for her King
The message last week at Church ( although I was upstairs leading sunday school)
and doing a lesson on trusting God) , just happened to be about Peter and the storm
The waves and troubles and praising God in the storm
Its not an easy thing to about turn and put on our praise, this is within us,
The natural thing is to mumble and moan and the enemy will put all kinds of thoughts
into our heads
We must at these times confront the enemy with the sound of praise to our God
However foolish this may seem , praise is a great weapon and is a weapon
used throughout Gods word
After the battle the men of the City would go around the outskirts of the City
and inspect the walls of the City and see what damage had been caused
They would make sure the defenses of that City were not weakened, if the City
walls had been damged or weakend then those City walls would be repaired and
restored and ready
Always take time to prepare and to look upon those defenses, always make
sure that the damage ( if any ) has been repaired,
Never be a City without proper defenses who's walls are torn down and are not
repaired, it takes many people to repair a wall of a City , not just one
They all have to work together to repair and to rebuild, whether they are
trained builders or not, whether they are scolars or children, labourers or
teachers, owners or slaves, whatever trade or position , all have to work
together to rebuild and repair a wall of the City
This is the leveller, this is the time when all are one and the same
This is when God brings His people as one and no one is more than the other
In Gods Kingdom we are all the same and we repair the damage caused by the enemy
But God is the healer and restorer here and He uses us
If one man falls he is picked up, if a man is lying on the ground he is
taken back, he is never left on the battle field
All work together as one, in an army each person has a part to play and each
is dependent on the other, each has his life at stake and each is affected by
Now there is a City who's gates are open and God is within it and the praises
of Gods people to the Lamb are echoing throughout eternity, this City has walls
made of jasper and the City of pure gold
And The Lord God is its Temple and its light and the light that shines is
a light that iluminates and compels all
This City has its gates open all the time and there is no night and no
heavens as we know them for the old order of things has passed away and
behold He has made all things new
This City again is overshadowed by the same God who watches over and
gives light to all
This City is full of splendour and noise, praises and thunder and shouts and activity,
And there will be no more pain or sorrow or grief or tears or a man
of sorrows or a person persecuted or whipped or scorned or imprisoned
or hated or scoffed at or ridiculed
In this City you will know because you know and you will know because
God is there and you will see because God see's and know a person by
seeing them, there will be no need for words as we know words
As if a thousand million words could speak of the splendour and majesty
of our God or give praises to God
No words could ever do that, but again the praises shall ring throughout
O death where is thy sting ?
2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of
God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people,
and God himself will be with them and be their God.
22I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and
the Lamb are its temple.
O how David loved to be in the Temple and praising God
Now lets look at Psalm 47 and go back one psalm to another Psalm
by the descendants fo Korah
And again we read about shouts and praises and clappping and dancing and jubilation
And we focus on one particular verse, which seems to be implanted here for a reason
9The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of
Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted
O this very Sunday morning we were speaking out the "promises of God "
We were reminded of the promises of God just a few hours after typing this here
Coincidence is'nt it ?
Can you think of a few promises of God ?
Lets type out some promises here and now remind oursleves of the promises....
Lets do some cross referencing
James 2:23 (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8): Abraham was the friend of God.
He was in relationship with God, a friend of God,
God was a companion, a Father, A Helper, a refuge, a shelter in fact all things
And we too who believe can enter boldly to the throne of grace
And we too who believe can come to God in times of need and He will listen
And we too who believe can have the promises of God and know Him too in
a personal way
Romans 4:11,16 : Abraham is the father of all who believe.
Romans 4:13 : Abraham is the heir of the world.
Hebrews 6:12-19. The unchangeableness of God's word was confirmed by His
promise being combined with His oath (Genesis 22:16).
Romans 4:1-3. Abraham's belief was counted by God as righteousness.
What would our belief be counted as ?
Can we ever buy our way into eternity ?
Can we ever work our way into eternity ?
Can we ever pray our way into eternity ?
Can we ever be good enough to earn Gods salvation ?
When even our best deeds are as filthy rags ?
No of course we who believe are saved through Jesus
4:13,16. The benefit of the promises is for all who share Abraham's faith.
4:20-25. Abraham took God at His word
God will regard us as righteous, as He did Abraham, if we believe in
Him as the one who raised Christ from death.
O death where is thy sting ? death is swallowed up in Victory
3:6-9. Those who have the faith of Abraham will share Abraham's reward.
3:14,22. The blessing of Abraham extends to all (Jew or Gentile) who
believe in Christ.
You see the enemy would steal away, he would attack and steal away
he would try to bombard us with failure and false lies
he might try to attack and leave us with crumbling walls
he might try to destroy that which does not belong to him
becasue he hates God and he hates Christians and he hates those who are made
in Gods image who are seeking after God and whom live in that City
he will attack and he will seek to destroy and he will seek to take us
away and capture us
he hates us because we are being made more and more like Christ everyday
and we who walk in that city ...in that Kingdom...in that light of God are
being transformed to be more and more like Hm
and the enemy hates it, he will attack and seek to overcome, but we are more
than overcomers and more than conquerers and we who have the veils taken
away from our faces share the glorious light of the gospel
and we march on as an army singing praises to God and the enemy will run
You see in Psalm 49 we read of redemption and the price , we read of
those who worship what they own who try to buy their way in, who try to sneak
through the gates
But like sheep they are led to the grave where death will be their shepherd
For they have worhipped dead things and lived for today and in loving their
lifes they have not believed nor wanted too and have worhipped the dead,
which is the world
And so death is their shepherd in verse 14
lets read psalm 49
Psalm 49 (New International Version)
1 Hear this, all you peoples;listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;the utterance from my heart will give
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;with the harp I will expound my riddle:
5 Why should I fear when evil days come,when wicked deceivers surround me-
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
7 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him-
8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough-
9 that he should live on forever and not see decay.
10 For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless
generations, though they had named lands after themselves.
12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers,
who approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in
the grave, far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house
17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not
descend with him.
18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed— and men praise you when you
19 he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the
light of life .
20 A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
You see you can never buy your way into that City
You can never work your way into that City
Although we work together in the City doing the works before God and as unto
God with willing hearts as we serve Him who serves us
We work doing his work in His Kingdom not to earn anything but rather
because we want too
A slave had to pay a price to be freed from his masters, he had to buy his
way out, the price ?
thirty pieces of silver of course, this was the price to be freed from slavery
Zechariah 11 Exodus 21:32)
Zechariah 11:12-13 (New International Version)
12 I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it."
So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-the handsome price at
which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them
into the house of the LORD to the potter.
And we know that Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver
And Jesus paid the price for us, that we might be freed from our slavery
He paid the price that we might be free and free indeed,
That we can walk into that City and be free
Mark 10:45, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:12
What will we take with us into eternity ?
Our faith ? our belief ? our God ?
Or will God take us into eternity ?
What will we leave behind ?
Or will we be left behind ?
What can we take with us ?
Or will God take us with Him ?
Where will our hearts be ?
Where will our riches be ?
Where will our treasures be ?
Where will our securities be ?
Have you run to the city of refuge and sought to enter the City Gates ?
Have you run to that city on a hill ?
Have you asked to be in that City ?
God can be your light and salvation is free to all who run to him
Pray with me
Lord God I ask you into my life in Jesus name come afresh into my life
nd send your Holy Spirit to renew me and revive me, that the dry bones
would skip and dance
Lord I ask you into my life afresh and ask that you would cleasne me
and fill me and restore me
You paid the great price that I can praise you with a new Psalm
Put that new Psalm in my heart Lord and let me sing praises to you as
the enemy roars around that I might know your salvation and praise you
throughout that city and thoughout eternity in Jesus name amen